Buying and Storing Potatoes – How Long Are Potatoes Good For?
There is clearly no doubt that this beloved root crop is one of the most popular vegetables and used in a variety of dishes across the world. Potatoes can easily adapt to a variety of flavors and be cooked in a number of different ways. So have you been thinking how long are potatoes good for use?
Well, I am here to answer your question. Read on to know more on how to choose the best variety of potatoes, how to store them and use them according to your convenience in delicious potatoes delicacies without adding a lot of ingredients.
Well Known Varieties of Potatoes and Their Use
There are different varieties of potatoes. Therefore, before you buy them, make sure you have knowledge about different types.
White, Yellow, and Red Potatoes
When picking up a white, red or a yellow potato, you need to look out for their shape. These potatoes are round shaped and keep their shape even after being baked or cooked. These potatoes have low starch content and high moisture content. Thus, they are firmer and doesn’t fall apart when cut. They slowly absorb the butter, sauces or the dressings. If you are planning to boil, roast or steam a potato, this is the best variety to choose.
Another variety of potato, the Russet potatoes are the oval shape, sleek potatoes with rough brown skin. When cooked, they have a mealy texture and start to fall apart when cut. These potatoes are known to possess high starch content and low moisture content which makes them mushy. This type is quick to absorb sauces, butter, and dressings and can be used to make mashed potatoes, quick baked potato or for frying.
Do you have a stock of freshly harvested potatoes at home? New potatoes or freshly harvested potatoes are tiny or baby potatoes of any variety. They have tender skin and can be cooked without peeling the skin off. After being cooked, you will come across waxy and firm texture. These are best when prepared by roasting, boiling or steaming.
How to Pick the Best Potatoes
Now that you are well versed with different kind of potatoes, it’s the right time to pick them up.
When buying potatoes, avoid potatoes with blemishes because fewer the blemishes, the better would it be. Don’t get potatoes that have cuts, wrinkles, bruises or soft end as they sign towards the poor handling of the crop and moisture loss.
Also do not pick a potato that has dark spots, sprouted eyes or sunken spots. Choose potatoes that are firm to touch and have smooth skin. Here you may ask are soft potatoes bad? Well, the answer is yes. So don’t pick them up.
You should purchase potatoes that have been cleaned but are unwashed. Smell them, do they smell of dirt? If yes, then pick them up as washed potatoes spoil quickly. Pick up potatoes that feel heavy and have a uniform shape. Uniformed sized potatoes cook evenly and are easy to peel.
While purchasing potatoes, you should also avoid the one with greenish tint or color. Greenish potatoes indicate that they have been exposed to direct sunlight during storage and hence may have become toxic for consumption.
Do you know that when housed in a dark location (underground storage), unwashed potatoes can be stored for many months at a stretch? They can last throughout the winter months if stored properly.
How to Store Potatoes
If you are still thinking how long are potatoes good for? Well, they can easily be used for months at a stretch if stored properly. Therefore, it is important to know how to store your potatoes right so that they don’t get bad after few weeks.
To begin with, you must understand that whole potato cannot be freeze or dried well. If you are trying to dry potato as a whole is a futile exercise because potato won’t dry as a whole.
Next, if you are thinking about freezing them without cutting, that won’t serve the purpose too as freezing them as a whole will make them lose their consistency and texture. However, don’t worry as there are ample ways to store them.
One of the most efficient and simplest methods of storing potatoes for long term use is to dice and dehydrate the potatoes.
Generally, potatoes can last for a few months if they are kept in the fridge or freezer. See this table to learn the many types of potatoes shelf life if they were to keep in the pantry, fridge, and freezer.
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How I Like to Store My Potatoes
When storing my potatoes, I prefer to wash them clean of dirt instead of peeling them up. Once cleaned, I dice them into small cubes approximately into a 1-inch cube. I prefer working in large batches at a time, but you can work with a batch size of your preference. Next, I rinse off the potato cubes with salted water.
The next step is to blanch them for approximately 3 to 5 minutes in water. Plunge the cubes in batches into ice-cold water for 5 minutes to stop the cooking process almost immediately. Scoop them out and repeat the same process for another 5 minutes in a new bucket of ice-cold water.
Let the potatoes sit in the water for a while, before you plan to put them in the dehydrator. Do not overlap the pieces and dehydrate them according to the instructions given in the product manual.
Once the chunks have completely dried, you can store the potatoes in plastic tubs until further use as I do. Now, thinking about how to use the dehydrated pieces of potatoes? It’s easy as all you need to reconstitute the slices is to soak the pieces in water for approximately half-an-hour before you need to use them.
How Long Does Mashed Potatoes Last in Fridge
Some people also ask, “How long do mashed potatoes last in the fridge?” Well, the answer to this question is simple. Mashed potatoes can easily be frozen and used for months at a stretch. Mashed potatoes can be stored in the form of patty by layering them between freezer papers and sealing them away in a zip lock bag.
Store away the patties in the freezers, and you can easily use them even after 6 months with no loss of flavor or texture. Moreover, if you vacuum seals them, they can last you for about a year.
If you feel that making small patties is quite a task, there’s another way to freeze the mashed potatoes. Start by lining an old cake tin with parchment paper while covering the entire bottom and sides of the tin. Spread the mashed potatoes in the cake tin and place it in the freezer for few hours until everything sets.
Lift up the parchment paper from the sides to remove the frozen mashed potatoes. Put it in a zip lock bag and suck up the air with the help of a vacuum pump. I always put a label at my zip lock bags with a date to helps me to remember which is week old mashed potatoes batch and which batch is relatively new!
Whenever you need them, just bake a section of frozen mashed potatoes for 30 minutes at 375F (190 Degree Celcius) or brown the potatoes in a pan with little butter and you are ready to go.
I hope this article have helped you to answer your question, “How long are potatoes good for use?” So the next time you plan to stock up your fridge, make sure you pick up the right kind of potatoes and freeze them for longer use without them getting spoiled.
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June 7, 2017